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Withdrawal of farm laws ‘a defining moment in history’, says Parkash Singh Badal

Akal Takht chief priest says Prime Minister deserves compliment

Former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal on Friday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement on the withdrawal of the three farm laws as “a defining moment in history”.

“This is the greatest event in the history of farmer struggles all over the world. I thank the great Guru Nanak Devji Maharaj and congratulate every farmer working hard on his fields,” said Mr. Badal in a statement.

“It was the first time in the history of democratic governments that brazen and cruel laws were made without even taking the stakeholders on board. No govt. should ever do such an insensitive and cruel thing again,” he said.

Mr. Badal said that this decision would have implications far beyond the farmers and would have a wide-ranging and long-lasting impact on the struggle for justice for the poor and the deprived across the world.

He, however, expressed sadness over the loss of precious lives during the struggle. “My first thoughts go the families of over 700 farmers who kissed martyrdom on the path of this just and noble struggle. I wish that they were here with us to see this day today. The loss of these brave soldiers and tragic events like Lakhimpur would always remain a dark blot on the face of this Government,” he added.

Giani Harpreet Singh, chief priest of Akal Takht — the highest Sikh temporal seat — also welcomed the decision.

“The decision regarding repealing the farm laws and its announcement on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev is laudable. Our major concern in the ongoing agitation was surrounding such elements that were sidelining Sikh sentiments, Sikh philosophy, Sikh history.. Also, there were certain elements that were attempting to project the agitation as something between Sikhs and the Government and more as between Sikh and Hindus, and this could have seen adverse results in the future. But, now our concern is over. I thank the Central Government and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the decision, which has averted a possible communal threat,” he said

“Sikhs in India live cohesively. We have always worked towards establishing harmony, the relations between Hindu-Sikh have been strong, is strong and in future, it remains we keep working for it. Under the garb of the ongoing agitation, some anti-social elements were trying to create a wedge between the two communities…With the decision on farm laws the Prime Minister, who deserves all compliments, has averted a possible threat,” he added.

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